iCBT Program for Chronic Pain

Module 7. Meditation

There are many types of meditation practised across the world by millions of people every day.

For the purpose of this program, we will be briefly introducing 5 general types of meditation for you to try.

You may enjoy all of these, or you may find one favourite. Keep looking into meditation past this program until you find one that you can do daily.

Mindfulness and meditation have been proven to reduce chronic pain in patients who practice it daily.

The hardest part of making meditation work for you is making it a habit. Once you make it a habit, it can be added into your routine, and you will see your pain levels start decreasing.

The 5 general types of meditation you will be learning are:
  1. Zen Meditation
  2. Mindfulness meditation
  3. Love & Kindness Meditation
  4. Mantra Meditation (OM)
  5. Exercise Meditation: Yoga, Tai Chi, Qi gong

Zen Meditation

Zen meditation is typically done in the lotus position (sitting cross-legged on the ground), but can be done sitting in a chair.

Keep your back and your head straight, and close your eyes. Take deep breaths using your diaphragm.

Starting at 10, count backwards to 0. When finished, start back at 10 and repeat. If you lose your count, focus back on the numbers and start at 10 again.

Mindfulness Meditation

Mindfulness is the awareness of thought and sensations. There are a few ways to practice this kind of meditation.

  1. Sit down and focus on your diaphragmatic breathing. Push all thought out of your head, consciously quieting your mind. If a thought pops into your head simply push it out and regain the peaceful quiet.
  2. Again, start by sitting and using diaphragmatic breathing. In this case, however, your conscious thought will be directed to one sense specifically. Focus on taste, for example, when eating, or stroke your pet and focus on the feel of their fur coat. Light a scented candle and focus only on that smell. Play a nature sounds clip and focus only on the sound of the waves or birds chirping.

You may try sight meditation when you have mastered the other 4 senses, as it is easier to be distracted with your eyes open.

Love & Kindness Meditation

This type of meditation utilizes visualization and thought control. Again, start by sitting and using your diaphragmatic breathing. You have to visualize a person, and think of only love and kind thoughts towards them.

You must see a wave of love and kindness washing over them. The people you visualize should be in the following order, with 5 minutes at least per person:

  1. Yourself
  2. Someone you admire or love dearly
  3. Someone you find difficult to like

Mantra Meditation

This is one of the most widely known meditative techniques. Sitting down, in the lotus position if you can or just in a chair if that is easier, use your diaphragm breathing to begin.

Once your breathing is controlled, close your eyes and slowly repeat a mantra.

A mantra can be any meaningful or non-meaningful sound that you will repeat. Many people start by using “OM”. Focus on the vibrations you feel from your vocal cords saying the mantra, clear your mind of all thoughts . Remember to use the mantra with each exhaled breath.

Here is a list of other phrases you can use and their meanings:

Om śāntiḥ śāntiḥ śāntiḥ (pronounced AUM shanti): AUM, peace, peace, peace.

Sat Nam (extend “saaaaaat”): Truth is my name.

Ham’Sah[pronounced “Hahmm(inhale) Sahh(exhale)”]: I am that.

Exercise Meditation

Exercise meditations, such as Yoga, Tai Chi or Qi Gong are helpful as relaxation techniques, while simultaneously helping increase your exercise levels.

Some people find movement-based meditation easier to learn than stationary, as it gives you something tangible to focus on: the movement.

There are many community centers and gyms that will offer these techniques in classes for you to try!

Homework – Module 7

For this week's homework, you are going to try each style of meditation once (one per day), and then select the most helpful and use it once per day for the other 2 days of the week.

On the next page, you will find a table to help you track your progress with each style.

Do NOT move on to the next module until you have practiced each meditation style once.

Click here to download the Meditation Style Log.


Exercises for Different Areas of Pain from Wilderman Medical Clinic

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